Andrew Shafik

Andrew Shafik

About your course/programme

Why did you choose to study your course?

I studied the MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine for two main reasons. Firstly, I wanted to develop my knowledge and skills in the speciality especially my musculoskeletal clinical examination. The University of Leeds course provided a perfect platform for this through integrated hands-on teaching, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. Secondly, I was required an MSc to progress within the field of SEM.

What do you enjoy about your course?

The course was fantastic for acquiring knowledge and applying it hands-on. We had anatomy cadaveric teaching sessions, MSK examinations, teaching from physiotherapists and surgeons as well as researchers who are experts in their fields.

What has been the greatest challenges throughout your course so far?

The greatest challenge has been coming from a medical background and trying to adapt to reading and writing scientific papers. This requires a different type of thinking and the course allows you to develop your critical appraisal skills to write such scientific work.

What is your research project on and what has it involved?

My research project was carried out in partnership with the English FA as part of their agreement with FIFA to produce research relating to the recent rule change of concussion substitutions. The title was ‘Concussion knowledge and attitudes in the FA Women’s Super League and Championship’.

How do you think doing a research project has benefited you/will benefit you in the future?

This research project has developed my scientific writing skills and data analysis skills. It also gave me the opportunity to network with leaders in the SEM clinical field with the aim of submitting for publication

How would you rate the facilities available to you throughout your project? How have these enhanced your experience?

My research project was carried out remotely. The survey was conducted online utilising some of the universities free and easy to access resources. This helped make the research project a smooth learning experience.

About the University

Why did you choose the University of Leeds?

There are many MSc Sport and Exercise Medicine available, however, the University of Leeds was the course that suited me most. The course had a great balance of teaching and hands-on experience with the face to face teaching being conducted once every two weeks. This allowed me to structure my weeks accordingly whilst studying the course full time. The programme leads are also very flexible and you are able to change from full time to part-time or vice versa at any time to suit your personal needs.

What have been the highlights of your time at the University of Leeds?

The highlight of the course has been the quality of the staff. Teaching sessions have been very relaxing and open giving you the opportunity to ask any questions. This is a real credit to the programme leads and the way the course is run.

Have you joined any student societies/sports clubs at the university? If so, how has this enhanced your time at the University?

I commuted from London to Leeds every two weeks for teaching. Although this meant I was unable to join any sports clubs due to not living locally, this allowed me to continue with my clinical work in London without needing to move - a real credit to the design of the course.

What key aspects of your experience of Leeds would you highlight to students thinking about coming to do the same course?

I would highlight the ability to do a pitch-side immediate care course as part of the qualification (not common to other MSc), the hands-on MSK teaching (anatomy and clinical examinations) and the flexibility of the course and staff to suit your learning needs.

What are your ambitions for the future? Do you have specific career plans? Has the University (careers centre/lecturers etc.) helped you with these goals in any way?

The MSc has provided a perfect platform for postgraduate examinations. At the end of the MSc, I successfully passed the Dip MSK Med and aim to sit the MFSEM exams. As the curriculum for the MSc covers a broad range of topics, this is a perfect platform for these examinations. The MSc not only provides the necessary knowledge and skills but is crucial in progressing in sport. My ambition is to utilise this platform to continue my work in sport and football with an ambition of working full time within the field.